The American roads are not great from a safety perspective, no matter how well-maintained they are. The ever-growing number of accidents and fatalities is a cause of concern for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and authorities alike. The worst part is that mishaps can happen anywhere, not only on busy highways. You are not safe on the city streets and in empty lanes, no matter how secure they seem on the surface. 

Pedestrians are at as much risk as motorists and passengers, even if they are not inside speeding vehicles. In fact, injuries tend to be more severe when a vehicle hits you while walking. The lack of protection is a reason you may sustain grave damages. Although you cannot do much about another driver’s negligence, you can do your bit to minimize the risk of a mishap. Here is the best safety advice pedestrians can rely on.

Walk only in safe places

Commuting on foot entails a responsibility to ensure your safety as you share the roadway with motorists. Caution, careful observation, and sound judgment can prevent collisions and crashes. You must use only designated areas such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bridges, or tunnels. It is vital to obey traffic-control signs and devices and stay on the right side of crosswalks. Be extra cautious while crossing the streets, even during red lights. You cannot be too sure about a negligent driver causing a mishap. Your safety depends greatly on being cautious every moment on the road. 

Be aware of your surroundings

Pedestrians cannot take safety for granted only because they are not riding a speeding vehicle. You are still at risk because a driver may hit you by mistake or when you cross its path. The best piece of advice is to be aware of your surroundings at all times, whether walking on the sideway or crossing the road. Be extra alert during bad weather conditions such as rain, fog, and snow. Impaired visibility can cause drivers to hit pedestrians negligently or unintentionally. So you must do your bit to prevent a mishap while walking on the road. 

Ensure visibility

Lack of visibility is one of the most common causes of mishaps on American roads. Drivers may hit other vehicles and people on the road only because they cannot see them. Making yourself visible is a significant factor for pedestrian safety. Wear bright-colored clothing if you have to travel on a busy road at night or during bad weather. It ensures that drivers can spot you from a distance and avoid accidentally striking you. Remaining in well-lit areas is another effective way to increase visibility after dark. Being visible does not take a lot, but it can save your life. 

Know how to deal with a mishap

You may do your best to avoid a collision, but it may still happen due to a driver’s negligence. Knowing how to deal with a mishap can save your life and ensure you get your rightful compensation from the guilty driver. You must seek medical assistance right away, even if the injuries seem only minor. It is equally vital to gather evidence such as vehicle details, witness information, and photographs of your injuries and the accident spot. You must connect with a pedestrian accident lawyer to initiate the claim process sooner than later. Never negotiate alone because the insurance company will try its best to close the case with a lowball offer. 

Be predictable

Even the most careful driver may hit pedestrians if they act out of the ordinary. After all, you cannot expect them to read your mind, specifically when you suddenly step down the sideway. Likewise, you should not randomly cross the street only because you cannot see a vehicle at a distance. A speeding vehicle may come out of the blue and hit you, only because you crossed the street when the light was green. You cannot even claim for their negligence because the fault is yours. The best option is to be predictable and act reasonably as a careful pedestrian would do. You can even use hand signals to indicate you plan to cross the street so that the driver can slow down. 

Avoid distractions

Like distracted driving, walking on the road can be dangerous if you let distractions affect your attention. In fact, pedestrians need to be extra conscious about avoiding them as they may sustain slip and fall injuries or collision mishaps due to lack of care. The worst part is that you cannot claim compensation for your injuries when you are at fault. Texting or talking on a phone,  listening to music with headphones, and reading while walking are common causes of pedestrian distraction. Failing to follow traffic signs is another form of distraction you should avoid. 

Avoid consuming alcohol

Walking after drinking alcohol is as dangerous as driving under the influence. A large number of pedestrian accidents happen due to impaired judgment after drinking. Alcohol can affect your ability to function and make sound decisions. You may miss out on signals, break the rules, or walk off the designated areas after drinking more than you can handle. Avoid walking after having a couple of drinks. You can stay home or ask a sober friend to drive you to your destination. But never take a risk of walking near areas with heavy traffic because you are most likely to get hurt. Also, keep an eye on drivers as erratic behavior indicates they may be distracted or driving under the influence. 

In Conclusion

Pedestrian safety is crucial because the risk of injuries runs high when you are not in a vehicle. You cannot depend on a helmet or closed vehicle to protect you from the impact of the collision. So it is vital to go the extra mile to secure yourself on the road. Fortunately, you need not do a lot to protect yourself. Following the basic road safety rules gives you a good start. Use your common sense and presence of mind to go the extra mile. A little caution can save your life. 

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